In 1963, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) began a Citywide Resident Garden Competition, from which NYCHA’s current Garden and Greening Program was born. Starting strictly as a Flower Garden Contest, the Garden Competition expanded to include the Vegetable and Theme Garden categories. The NYCHA Garden and Greening Program is one of the oldest urban gardening programs of its kind in the country.
The Garden and Greening Program is a beautification and environmental education program that benefits NYCHA residents and senior, community and day care centers.
The Garden and Greening Program is a beautification and environmental education program that benefits NYCHA residents, as well as senior, community and day care centers. The program provides year-round technical assistance, free seeds and flowering bulbs and other garden resources to resident gardeners citywide. The gardens add color and charm to NYCHA developments and yield beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables throughout the seasons. Although success cannot be measured in numbers, in 2013 the Garden and Greening Program provided gardening and greening education and support to approximately 2,300 adult, children, and senior resident gardeners.
In 2005, the Garden and Greening Program expanded its mission to include the planting of large trees and shrubs. An expansive year-round environmental education program was implemented that includes workshops; field trips to the city’s botanical gardens, parks and museums; increased production of and access to nutritional organic produce; increased efforts to harvest storm water; and promoting low maintenance pollinator gardens.
Most resident gardeners enter the Annual Citywide Garden Competition and their gardens are judged by a diverse panel of horticultural professionals. The judges choose a citywide winner in each category from among first-place borough winners. Winners receive recognition at the Annual Citywide Garden Competition Awards Ceremony. During this year’s preliminary judging phase, 743 NYCHA gardens were identified, an increase from 664 in 2012.
For additional information: (212) 306-3511